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The Peak Partners Smart Water Heater Program

How the Peak Partners smart water heater program works

Peak Partners helps
you and your community.

Call 855-350-1464 now
to be considered.

Eligibility will in part be based on order of calls received.

Open to select Fort Collins Utilities customers who meet eligibility requirements.

The Smart Water Heater Program is part of Peak Partners – a group of programs designed to help customers manage their energy usage and maintain a healthy environment.

When you enroll in the Smart Water Heater Program, you'll be joining customers throughout the Fort Collins Utilities service area doing their part to help conserve energy during the most critical times.

You'll also receive the following financial savings:

  • A free top-of-the-line* smart water heater with installation – valued at $1,300
  • Up to $75 per year in average energy savings**

*Manufactured and distributed by A.O. Smith
**Actual savings may vary

How the Peak Partners Smart Water Heater Program Works

1. Call to be considered

After we evaluate your eligibility by phone, we will schedule an appointment with you to inspect the space in your home needed to install the smart water heater.

2. Installation

Once we have determined your home can accommodate the smart water heater, we'll then schedule a time and date for installation.

3. Wireless signal sent

Every day, we'll send a wireless signal that remotely activates the two-way communication device connected to your smart water heater, temporarily turning off your water heater for a short period of time. A steady red light on the Peak Partners water heater device will remain illuminated during this conservation period, alerting you to your water heater's operational status.

Smart water heater

A steady red light on the Peak Partners water heater device will remain illuminated during conservation periods, alerting you to your water heater's operational status.

4. Maintain your routine

The average heating delay is two-and-a-half hours. It's short enough – and water heaters are large enough (40 to 60 gallons) – that you can be confident there's plenty of hot water in reserve for typical household use. The device will detect if you are about to run out of hot water and automatically turn on to avoid a "cold shower."

5. Balance the demand for electricity

During the time program participants' water heaters are off, the demand for electricity is reduced. As a result, less electricity needs to be generated, which keeps energy costs lower and reduces carbon emissions and other pollutants.

6. Your water heater switches back on

When regional demand for electricity passes its peak and reduces to an acceptable level, a signal is sent to your water heater to automatically return to normal operation. It will "favor" turning on when there is plenty of solar or wind energy, reducing the appliance's carbon footprint.

7. You save by shifting electricity use to off-peak hours

By heating your water during less expensive hours, you save money while maintaining a reliable reservoir for your daily use.

The Peak Partners Smart Water Heater Program Offers You Choice

Depending on the Energy Savings option you choose, you can expect different savings:

  • Basic Energy Savings: This choice will delay energy consumption of your water heater by 1 hour every day. You can expect savings of about $22/year, depending on hot water usage.*
  • Default Energy Savings: This choice will delay energy consumption of your water heater by 2.5 hours every day. You can expect savings of about $52/year, depending on usage.* Water heater tanks are large (40-60 gallons), so you should have plenty of hot water during the 2 hours that energy is being shifted from on-peak to off-peak costs.
  • Aggressive Energy Savings: This choice delays energy consumption of your water heater by 4 hours (or 5 hours in the summer) every day. You can expect savings of about $70/year, depending on usage.*

Unless you decide otherwise, we'll start you with Aggressive Energy Savings to maximize your financial savings. You can change your savings selection at any time.

*Actual savings may vary.


Frequently Asked Questions

Fort Collins Utilities is offering the new Smart Water Heater Program through Peak Partners, which helps keep the cost of electricity low by reducing peak demand on the electric grid. This new technology will favor solar or wind energy to heat up the water, reducing our community environmental impact as well. Peak Partners is a flexible, cost-effective, residential energy management solution that combines peak electricity reduction, energy efficiency and grid flexibility.

Residential customers agree to have the smart water heaters installed in their homes and equipped with two-way devices. These switches are remotely activated to temporarily "turn off" the water heaters for short periods of time (known as a "conservation event") when the city's electric grid approaches peak capacity. They also tell the water heaters to "turn on" when there is plenty of "green energy" on the grid.

Participation is restricted to a limited number of customers at this time. Customers invited to participate must agree to the following:

  • Provide access to your home, first to inspect the location to confirm eligibility, second to install the unit (our staff will follow all Covid-19 safety guidelines)
  • Allow connection to your Wi-Fi
  • Be willing to respond to our surveys to evaluate the program performance

Those customers deemed eligible to participate who currently have:

  • • Electric resistant heat will receive an A. O. Smith brand water heater, either model # EGT-40 (40-gallon capacity) or model # EGT-50 (50-gallon capacity), tall models only
  • Hybrid electric heat pump will receive an A. O. Smith brand water heater, either model # FPTU-50 (50-gallon capacity) or model # FPTU-66 (66-gallon capacity) or model # FPTU-80 (80-gallon capacity)

The capacity of your replacement water heater will be equivalent to your existing water heater.

Depending on the savings selection you choose, your water heater will be turned off from one to five hours. Unless you indicate a preference, we'll start you with the Aggressive Energy Savings option, which discontinues your heating for up to five hours. The water heaters are large enough (40 to 60 gallons) that there should be plenty of hot water for typical household use. Should you be on the verge of running out of hot water, the water heater will automatically turn on. You would, however, forfeit the savings for that day, but still have plenty of hot water for your needs.

There are no costs to participate in the Peak Partners water heater program.

Because of reduced usage during more expensive (peak) hours, you should see savings. There are three savings options available to you. All Smart Water Heater customers will begin with Aggressive Energy Savings, unless you request one of the alternative choices.

  • Basic Energy Savings: This choice will delay energy consumption of your water heater by 1 hour every day. You can expect savings of about $22/year, depending on hot water usage.
  • Default Energy Savings: This choice will delay energy consumption of your water heater by 2.5 hours every day. You can expect savings of about $52/year, depending on usage. Water heater tanks are large (40-60 gallons), so you should have plenty of hot water during the 2 hours that energy is being shifted from on-peak to off-peak costs.
  • Aggressive Energy Savings: This choice delays energy consumption of your water heater by 4 hours (or 5 hours in the summer) every day. You can expect savings of about $70/year, depending on usage. Water heater tanks are large enough that you should have no problems "coasting" for four to five hours. If, however, you were about to run out of hot water, the water heater will automatically turn on. You would then forfeit that day's savings, but would still have plenty of hot water for your typical needs.

Fort Collins Utilities strives to reduce our peak electricity and carbon footprint through energy-saving technology and engagement with our customers. The Peak Partners Smart Water Heater Program helps reduce peak energy use of water heaters. A single participant's contribution may seem small but, when program participants join together, the system impacts can be significant and very beneficial.

The smart water heater can build up a reservoir of hot water for later use. By heating water when there is plenty of solar or wind energy on the grid, fewer emissions are pumped into the atmosphere. By joining the program, your water heater can be a tool to reduce your—and your community's—environmental impact.

Privacy

Fort Collins Utilities takes data privacy very seriously and complies with local, state and federal laws to protect our customers' personal data and information. All customer information - including personal data, utility use and more - are strictly protected. Fort Collins Utilities is subject to the Colorado Open Records Act and Fort Collins Municipal Code, which govern the accessibility of public records. Utilities is also subject to the Red Flags Rules of the FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003), which requires creditors to create and implement a program to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft.